Tag Archives: Vladimir Fabry

United Nations Suez Canal Clearance Operations: 1956-’57

Need help clearing the Suez Canal? Take your problem to the United Nations! Vlado Fabry was on assignment in Egypt during the Suez Crisis, assisting with the UN clearance operations of about 30 wrecks, which began in December of 1956 and was completed in April 1957. I promised a while back to post images of the large clearance chart that Vlado saved, but now I have a very good reason to share it! It is 2 feet x 2 feet in size, beautiful to look at. Prepared in 1957 by UNSCO, drawn and traced by Roger Gammino.

I am also including this eye-opening BBC documentary about the Suez Crisis, I highly recommend it!

First Czechoslovak Republic: Fabry archive,1918-1920

The following documents and photos are from November 1918 to December 1920, they are in Hungarian and I am not able to translate them – I will return later to transcribe some of these. I hope to give a clearer picture of why Pavel Fabry, and his family, were the target of retaliation and revenge by Hungary and Russia, and why Russia still occupies our home in Bratislava – the house belongs to the city of Bratislava now, my husband and I donated it!

For historical context, the First Czechoslovak Republic began on 28 October 1918, and the boundaries and government were established with the Czechoslovak Constitution of 29 February 1920. The Treaty of Trianon was signed on 4 June 1920, and Saris County became part of newly formed Czechoslovakia; Saris was formerly known as Saros, a County of the Kingdom of Hungary, and had been since the 13th century – Pavel was Governor of Presov and prefect of Saris at its very beginning! In connection, this pdf text from the University of Presov was sent to me by a very helpful family relative last year(thank you!!): “Eastern Slovakia in 19th and 20th centuries in relation of the centre and periphery“; she wrote that “it describes the installation and the very beginning of [Pavel’s] governance in Presov.”

1918 Czechoslovakia
Marked on reverse: “Luhačovice August 1918″. Pavel Fabry sits front and center, Olga Fabry is second woman on the right; the two men standing far left and far right appear to be our relatives, Igor and Miloš Makovický, but I have not identified the others, yet.
Unidentified Slovak ladies, with our grandmother Olga Fabry-Palka far right, circa 1918.
President Masaryk
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, 1st President of Czechoslovakia, 1918-1935. Photo plate from “Zlata Knihá Slovenska: 1918-1928” (“Golden Book of Slovakia”)
Our copy of “Golden Book of Slovakia”; published 1929.
From “Golden Book of Slovakia”, Dr. Pavel Fabry.
Document from 15 November 1918.
Budapest, 16 November 1918.
Letter from Budapest, 17 November 1918.
Reverse of letter from Budapest, 17 November 1918; with cancellation stamps, December 6 and 7, 1918.
Prague, December 10, 1918
Letter from Zilina, 24 December 1918.
Letter from Prague, 28 December 1918.
Political flyer from Presov, 8 July 1919.
This photo is marked in pen on reverse “Saris, Tatuskova, slavnost 11 jan. 1920”. Pavel Fabry(Tatuskova) at center, speaking to the crowd; “slavnost” is Slovak for ‘celebration’.
Presov, 8 June 1920.

Happy 100th Birthday, Vlado!

Born 23 November 1920, a toast to Vlado from the S-G – and me! Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with your fond memories of Vlado, I appreciate them all.

From New York to Gaza, 22 November 1960, birthday wishes from Vlado’s sister Olinka.

Not a birthday telegram, just a “confidential” message from Vlado’s mother to write home more often!

A birthday message and pep talk from big brother Vlado to his sister, sent late September 1960:

“However it may be, there’s no use fighting it or grumbling about what could be – just try to enjoy life as it comes and make every year of it – or every day, or every minute, – a memorable experience and adventure. Carpe diem! -“

Vlado and the Mercenaries: Operation Rum Punch

The United Nations will be 75 years old this October 24th, and when I see how certain member nations react to having their human rights abuses pointed out to them, how they bully and attempt to silence others, interfere with elections, poison their tea, kidnap, arrest, dismember them, or shoot down their planes, it only reaffirms how important the UN truly is; how important it is that all nations be able to come together and communicate honestly with each other for peace. The UN makes a difference in so many lives every day around the world, and it made a huge difference in the lives of the Fabry family, pretty much saving Vlado’s life by giving him a legal position in 1946 and getting him out of Prague – Vlado was lucky to live to age 40.

In May of this year, I was sent an interview of Vlado’s personal secretary at Hotel Le Royal in Leopoldville(now Kinshasa), from Maurin Picard, author of “Ils Ont Tue Monsieur H”, and she says she “had worked for weeks with Vladimir Fabry and the issue of the “frightfuls”, these mercenaries.

“I made dozens of photocopies from these documents that had been somehow collected and that had to do with these mercenaries. Vladimir Fabry worked a great deal on this issue. We did an extensive research on these documents.”

She gives her recollection of 17 September 1961: “That day, when I arrived at my office, Vladimir Fabry immediately requested to dictate some telegrams. I spent the whole afternoon doing that: typing messages, then bringing them to the “chiffre” for them to be coded accordingly with the recipient’s identity.

By the time I was finished, they were getting ready to leave for the airport.

Before leaving, Vladimir Fabry was so thrilled.

Happy as a kid who was just offered a new toy.

Albeit a very reserved character, he was practically jumping on his feet.

He came into my office and said excitedly: “M******, I am leaving with the Secretary-General! I am trusting you with my car keys!”

He had to be very happy, for he would never have done such a thing otherwise. His car was an official UN vehicle. He told me I could use it all the time during his absence.”

In connection to mercenaries, here is one more document of interest I found during my visit to the UN archives in May 2015, concerning Vlado and Operation Rum Punch; when 79 mercenaries working for Katanga were arrested on 28 August 1961. From Series 0793-0012-81, with folder description “UNOC: Mercenaries, Fabry”, a letter from Conor Cruise O’Brien to Michel Tombelaine in English, with the legal advice of Vladimir Fabry in French:



A Legacy of Love and Hope


Uncle Vladimir and Grandpa Pavel Fabry.

When I think about the lives of my relatives, and spend time holding their personal belongings in my hands, there a feeling of love so real that expands my heart, that reminds me I am connected to everyone and everything. It is like they are speaking in my ear, encouraging me to learn from their lives, to have a positive attitude in times of trouble, to greet the world with love and not with fear. Love is an energy that is open to the new and the unknown, that wants to know and to understand and heal what is broken, that believes in the best in others, and to love courageously is the greatest goal.

I have attempted in the past to translate the following document in German from Pavel Fabry, but it deserves a better translation, and I am posting it here for those fluent in German to help me.

The mention of Valerian Zorin in this testimony is the one thing that has always stood out for me. Valerian Zorin was the Soviet ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1945-47, and in 1948 he helped organize the Coup d’état in Czechoslovkia; he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union from 1947-1955 and 1956-1965, and also the permanent Soviet representative for the United Nations Security Council from 1952-53 and from 1956-1965. Valerian was not a friend to Pavel and Vlado or any Fabry, and because of his high rank he likely gave the order for the seizure of our home in Bratislava in 1948, making it their Russian embassy; and for ordering the arrest, detention, and torture of Pavel Fabry, on false charges, while he was on his way to Amsterdam to a meeting with the World Council of Churches. I am not sure how it felt for Vlado to work at the UN with Valerian – someone who hurt his family and friends – but good and evil has always existed, in high and low places, we have to work with our enemies and stay focused only on what is in our power to change.






















No to racism and white supremacy!

Ian Smith, the last Prime Minister of Rhodesia, in this news report from 1976, says “I am not a racist”, he just has “standards” – he was only following the “standards” of the British colonists that came before him, “and if it was right then, I wonder, why it is wrong now?” I had to rewind this crazy interview several times(starting 15:35), Smith has a forked tongue, manipulating words and changing their meaning to justify the unjustifiable, stirring up violence – like the snake currently occupying the White House. His tone in defense of white minority rule reminds me of Hendrick Verwoerd, who also spoke like a very concerned and condescending parent, as if apartheid for Black Africans was a fair thing, a neighborly thing.

I do not need to ask why there is a lack of cooperation in getting information concerning the death of uncle Vlado and Dag Hammarskjold and their friends on September 17-18, 1961, I know why. For governments and organizations to open up their archives to examination of the past, that would mean an examination into present day activities, and the truth is that nothing has changed, it’s business as usual. One has to be willfully blind not to connect the dots of the past to the present, racism is real and so is white supremacy. There have been so many times it has scared the hell out of me to speak up here and stand for what is right, but I refuse to let fear silence me!